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Transhuman Artificial Intelligence Coming to a Hive Mind …

Trans-humanist dystopia may not be that far away.In the future, humans are going to be artificially intelligent (AI). Google Director of Engineering (((Ray Kurzweil))) said, Well also be able to fully back up our brains.Were going to gradually merge and enhance ourselves. Our thinking then will be a hybrid of biological and non-biological thinking.

After tens of thousands of years of natural evolution, this wizard, Kurzweil, predicts that humans will become hybrids in the 2030s. That means our brains will be able to connect directly to the cloud, where there will be thousands of computers, and those computers will augment our existing intelligence. He said the brain will connect via nanobots tiny robots made from DNA strands.

Through the use of smart drugs, and what transhumanists call mind uploading, man will be able to merge with the internet, envisioned as the endpoint of occult (((Kabbalistic))) evolution, the formation of a collective consciousness, or Global Brain. That awaited moment is what Kurzweil refers to as The Singularity. The fact that this man is the key player running Google (now Alphabet) research couldnt be more damning.

Elon Musk, another technology guru, has an issue with AI.He told an audience at MIT we should be very careful about artificial intelligence, warning it may be our biggest existential threat and that with artificial intelligence, we are summoning the demon.

Musk goes on to say that we could be living in a matrix. Since he comes across as an obtuse speaker, he can often be dismissed; but I believe what he meant is that there is enough already beingsimulated and holographed, that it starts to supersede base reality. It is mixed or augmented faux reality and thats an important distinction although to the person experiencing it, the difference may seem subtle or not even noticeable.

I point this synthetic reality out all the time on TNN and am convinced it is being heavily used by the Crime Syndicate and their media in stagecraft and skulduggery. There are many disbelievers (or even worse, those who just dont care) to this view. But if you have enough people using digital heroin who are addicted to holdable, wearable and implantable electronics, then they will be infected and live their lives in simulated, augmented, unnatural hive mind environments, hardly able to distinguish between truth and illusion.

AI is synonymous with total control, and we can only imagine who will play God and exercise this control on the transhumans on the plantation. The prospects should horrify any thinking person.

Layered on top of this is DARPAs Targeted Neuroplasticity Training program. This works to take advantage of the brains synaptic plasticity, its ability to continually rearrange its structures and functions in response to experiences, such as learning skills and cognitive skills. The basic idea is to stimulate peripheral nerves so they can trigger the release of certain molecules in the brain that cause neurons to rearrange themselves. Let me spell it out: Brain restructuring (aka mental programming and control) is the end of natural free will and defines a transhuman.

Transhumanism technology incorporates nano-technology, genetic modifications, drugs, robotics, bionics and cybernetic enhancements.The game being played here is to claim AI and brain hijacking has some specific narrow national defense or time saving purpose. But we know better. This is straight out of satanist Aldous Huxleys wildest hive minds vision of the future

Verdict: Beyond-the-pale dystopic criminality, evil and totally counter to the natural order. Transhumanism threatens the death of humanity beyond whats already occurred and should be a core issue for new nationalists.

Illustrating our challenge, a Pew Research poll found32 percent of people polled said they would want such implants if they could actually improve their brain function. How trusting. Only41 percent of respondents said they were somewhat worried about the potential effects of such technology, while another 28 percent said they were very worried. Twenty-five percent said they were somewhat enthusiastic and 9 percent were very enthusiastic about the concept. Only 28 percent very worried about being turned into a transhuman hive mind: we are in deep trouble ladies and gentlemen!

This article originally appeared on The New Nationalist and was republished here with permission.

Originally posted here:

Transhuman Artificial Intelligence Coming to a Hive Mind …

Transhuman – Wikipedia

Not to be confused with “trans” used as an abbreviation for “transsexual” or “transgender” in the terms trans man, trans woman.

Transhuman, or trans-human, is the concept of an intermediary form between human and posthuman.[1] In other words, a transhuman is a being that resembles a human in most respects but who has powers and abilities beyond those of standard humans.[2] These abilities might include improved intelligence, awareness, strength, or durability. Transhumans sometimes appear in science-fiction as cyborgs or genetically-enhanced humans.

The use of the term “transhuman” goes back to French philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, who wrote in his 1949 book The Future of Mankind:

Liberty: that is to say, the chance offered to every man (by removing obstacles and placing the appropriate means at his disposal) of ‘trans-humanizing’ himself by developing his potentialities to the fullest extent.[3]

And in a 1951 unpublished revision of the same book:

In consequence one is the less disposed to reject as unscientific the idea that the critical point of planetary Reflection, the fruit of socialization, far from being a mere spark in the darkness, represents our passage, by Translation or dematerialization, to another sphere of the Universe: not an ending of the ultra-human but its accession to some sort of trans-humanity at the ultimate heart of things.[4]

In 1957 book New Bottles for New Wine, English evolutionary biologist Julian Huxley wrote:

The human species can, if it wishes, transcend itself not just sporadically, an individual here in one way, an individual there in another way, but in its entirety, as humanity. We need a name for this new belief. Perhaps transhumanism will serve: man remaining man, but transcending himself, by realizing new possibilities of and for his human nature. “I believe in transhumanism”: once there are enough people who can truly say that, the human species will be on the threshold of a new kind of existence, as different from ours as ours is from that of Peking man. It will at last be consciously fulfilling its real destiny.[5]

One of the first professors of futurology, FM-2030, who taught “new concepts of the Human” at The New School of New York City in the 1960s, used “transhuman” as shorthand for “transitional human”. Calling transhumans the “earliest manifestation of new evolutionary beings”, FM argued that signs of transhumans included physical and mental augmentations including prostheses, reconstructive surgery, intensive use of telecommunications, a cosmopolitan outlook and a globetrotting lifestyle, androgyny, mediated reproduction (such as in vitro fertilisation), absence of religious beliefs, and a rejection of traditional family values.[6]

FM-2030 used the concept of transhuman as an evolutionary transition, outside the confines of academia, in his contributing final chapter to the 1972 anthology Woman, Year 2000.[7] In the same year, American cryonics pioneer Robert Ettinger contributed to conceptualization of “transhumanity” in his book Man into Superman.[8] In 1982, American Natasha Vita-More authored a statement titled Transhumanist Arts Statement and outlined what she perceived as an emerging transhuman culture.[9]

Jacques Attali, writing in 2006, envisaged transhumans as an altruistic vanguard of the later 21st century:

Vanguard players (I shall call them transhumans) will run (they are already running) relational enterprises in which profit will be no more than a hindrance, not a final goal. Each of these transhumans will be altruistic, a citizen of the planet, at once nomadic and sedentary, his neighbor’s equal in rights and obligations, hospitable and respectful of the world. Together, transhumans will give birth to planetary institutions and change the course of industrial enterprises.[10]

In March 2007, American physicist Gregory Cochran and paleoanthropologist John Hawks published a study, alongside other recent research on which it builds, which amounts to a radical reappraisal of traditional views, which tended to assume that humans have reached an evolutionary endpoint. Physical anthropologist Jeffrey McKee argued the new findings of accelerated evolution bear out predictions he made in a 2000 book The Riddled Chain. Based on computer models, he argued that evolution should speed up as a population grows because population growth creates more opportunities for new mutations; and the expanded population occupies new environmental niches, which would drive evolution in new directions. Whatever the implications of the recent findings, McKee concludes that they highlight a ubiquitous point about evolution: “every species is a transitional species”.[11]

See the article here:

Transhuman – Wikipedia

Transhuman Space Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia

Welcome to the Transhuman Space WikiEdit

The Transhuman Space Wiki is an online reference for everything related to the GURPS Transhuman Space setting by Steve Jackson Games.

Transhuman Space (THS) is a hard science fiction setting that takes place in the year 2100. It’s somewhere between ‘cyberpunk’ and ‘space opera,’ both in technology and mood. The world is neither pessimistic nor optimistic but realistic; science has both solved problems and made new ones.

The idea is to create content in the main page and only once a particular content will be rich enough it will be moved to its own page. That’s way, we shall avoid minimalist pages.

Transhuman Space and GURPS are registered trademarks of Steve Jackson Games. All rights are reserved by Steve Jackson Games. Material used here is in accordance with the Steve Jackson Games online policy.

This Wiki is not official and is not endorsed by Steve Jackson Games. Steve Jackson Games is not responsible for the content posted by users of this Wiki. Content is not reviewed prior to posting, and nothing on these pages indicates any official sanction by Steve Jackson Games.

This wiki is not a replacement for official Transhuman Space or GURPS books and does not reproduce content from them. Rather than reproducing official content from the sourcebooks, please reference the material instead. Errata and/or book/page references are appreciated. Do not post the contents of the books themselves. No entry should diminish, even slightly, the necessity of anyone owning the book that is being referenced.

View original post here:

Transhuman Space Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia

Overwatch Transhuman Arm | Xenic-HL2RP Wiki | FANDOM …

The Overwatch Transhuman Arm is a branch of the Combine Overwatch that is formed by the Combine to create Transhuman troops whose task is to ensure Combine rule on earth.

Overwatch Transhuman Arm Symbol.

They are no where near the lower skill set of some common Metropolitan Police Force units, and have high combat capabilities to ensure their power and brutality on the battlefield. They are specialized in most tasks that the Metropoltian Police Force is not, such as: Designated Marksman, Close Quarter Combat (CQC), and Ground Units. They are usually armed with the Combines most impressive weaponry, such as the AR2, MP7, Overwatch Sniper Rifle, and the Combine SPAS-12.

Overwatch Units are heavily augmented and have heavy kevlar, allowing them to safely engage in situations too dangerous/risky to be handled by Metropoltian Police Force. Overwatch Units are usually deployed in Resistance Raids, and sometimes sweeps.

They have multiple Divisions, as of now they are:

ECHO – The basic auxiliary supporting ground Unit.

SHADOW – Subtle reconnaissance Unit, used to aquire intel and assassinate high-value targets.

SYNTH – Synthetical supporting ground Unit.

Read the original here:

Overwatch Transhuman Arm | Xenic-HL2RP Wiki | FANDOM …

Calls for papers Conferences taking place in May 2019

Urban Otium: Materialities, Practices, RepresentationsUniversity of Freiburg, Germany, 2-4 May 2019Deadline for proposals: 31 October 2018

CRC 1015 Otium. Boundaries, Chronotopes, Practices

Speed, acceleration, the perceived intensification of time, expediency and efficiency are all recurring catchphrases of our present time, which are closely linked to the urban experience. The hustle and bustle of city life, hectic and busyness are central characteristics of the urban space, which supposedly subject the citys inhabitants to an increasingly functional logic. And yet it becomes apparent how fragile this domination is in characters like the flneur who moves calmly through the bustle of the city. We can even identify seemingly opposite tendencies: places like urban parks, museums and other recreational spaces, as well as a growing leisure industry suggest to be refuges of deceleration. But at the same time such opportunities can be subject to utilitarian rationality and self-improvement.In the interdisciplinary collaborative research centre 1015 on Otium at the University of Freiburg, these contradictory aspects are being discussed and at the conference on Urban Otium: Materiality, Practices, Representations they are going to be analysed in more detail. In interdisciplinary dialogue, free spaces of otium in the urban space can be identified, and through them a discussion on the relation of urbanity and otium can be initiated. In the context of the collaborative research centre, the term otium is not understood as being primarily tied to particular actions or spaces, but rather as the experience of a free being-in-time, an end in itself not identified with the logic of purpose-oriented achievement. The notion can be made more palpable with the help of paradoxical expressions such as productiveunproductiveness or active inactivity, which emphasise its social dimension. Against this background, otium and work are no polar opposites, nor can otium and free time (as well as an understanding of free time in the sense of leisure activity) be understood as synonyms. Moreover, there is a transgressive potential in this understanding of otium: even in situations of the greatest hectic and time pressure moments of otium can arise which enable the individual to free her- or himself of these circumstances.The connection of the concept of otium with the thematic field of urbanity raises multiple questions: How do opportunities for otium manifest themselves in the urban space as well as in the social fabric in general? Can we establish differences between different kinds of urban spaces (e.g. small town, city or metropolis) and the forms of otium specific to them? Is the traditional dichotomy between city and nature at all tenable in the context of experiences of otium? How does the concept relate to recent developments like the forming of global cities or the specific context of postcolonial cities? How can the tension between, on the one hand, structures furthering inequality and, on the other, social autonomy in the city be applied to otium? In what way is gender relevant for urban otium?These questions will be at the core of the conference, which will consist of contributions from different disciplines, so that perspectives from the humanities, cultural studies and social sciences can complement one another. Already the categories mentioned in the conference title incorporate this idea: (urban) otium manifests itself in the material form of the urban space, in the actions of its agents as well as in differently mediated representations.The aim of the conference is to connect historical-diachronic observations with reflections on the present, and thus to discuss possible cultural histories of urban otium. Above that, the conference topic should not be approached from a purely Eurocentric or Western viewpoint, but instead the debate should do justice to the global variety of cultures of otium.

The conference will be structured along the following thematic emphases:

Two possible formats are intended: Papers (max. 30 minutes) and shorter contributions (max. 15 minutes)Exposs of one page (approx. 500 words) as well as a short CV are requested by 31.10.2018.Please send both to Ren Wamer: rene.wassmer@sfb1015.uni-freiburg.dePeter Philipp Riedl will be happy to answer any questions you may have: peter.riedl@sfb1015.uni-freiburg.de

(posted 19 September 2018)

We invite you to our symposium to understand scientists, educators, principals, experts, teachers, graduate students and those who are passionate about education, to share, to contribute and to address the theme profoundly. In this symposium to take place in Buca Faculty of Education in which science and nature meet, participants will have chance to benefit from keynote speechs, oral presentations, workshops and panels.

Proceedings which will be reviewed and accepted by judges will be published as an abstract booklet in the symposium website and will be published as full-text in 1st International Science, Education, Art & Technology Symposium Proceedings book after the symposium.

We will be pleased to welcome you in zmir, the pearl of Aegean.

Keynote speakers:

The scope of the symposium is not limited with the ones listed below and all teacher education related subjects are included in the symposium.

Important Dates:

More information is available on the Symposium Website: https://www.bestsempozyum.org/BEST2018/sempozyum-cagrisi

(posted 6 January 2019)

We invite abstracts for 20-minute presentations on literary and linguistic issues that relate to the conference topic.Brexit and Beyond: Nation and IdentityDebates about national identity have received new currency in recent years in a context of demonstrations of national self-assertion, which has resulted for example in the Brexit decision in Britain, in significant changes in American international policies, and the introduction of authoritarian measures in some member states of the European Union. Shortly after Britain will most probably have left the European Union, the conference will address the developments outlined above and the cultural discourses surrounding them. As regards Brexit, we argue that many attempts at explaining the Leave victory and current British Euroscepticism focus quite narrowly on economic, legal and political factors, underestimating more fuzzy phenomena such as cultural myths, narratives and images which circulate in literature, travel writing, visual arts and other media, influencing people on a visceral level, sometimes against their better judgement. During our conference, we will examine the construction and negotiation of cultural identities in language, literature and the media with a focus on cultural memory and the cultural imaginary as well as stereotyping, mythmaking, peoples shared fictions and the impact of the resulting policies on peoples lives. We believe that literary studies and linguistics can make an important contribution to our understanding of current political developments, and to a critique of jingoistic populism. Topics addressed at the conference could include:

Keynote Speakers:

Deadline for abstracts: January 13, 2019Submit to: sauteconference2019@unibas.chAbstracts of no more than 500 words should be sent together with a brief bio-blurb and contact details to the above e-mail address in one PDF document. Notifications of acceptance will be issued from February 17, 2019.Conference website: https://english.philhist.unibas.ch/en/research/conferences-and-colloquia/saute-conference-2019/A selection of papers will be published in the Swiss Papers in English Language and Literature (SPELL).

(posted 4 September 2018)

All of the subdisciplines of English Studies address issues of exchange, transformation and communication: ranging from the temporal development, regional variation and functional properties of language; through the societal interactions examined in history and cultural studies; to the permutations of plot, negotiations of character and voice, and evolutions of genre within literature, film, and other aesthetic forms. Exchange, transformation and communication are crucial to an understanding of English as a humanistic discipline; to its international role in political, institutional and market-driven contexts; and to the mediation between English(es) and other languages that is performed by textual and cultural translation.

In Etc. we intend to find space for all of the above-mentioned areas of study, and for the transformative possibilities that may arise from communication and exchange between them. Furthermore, we will consider exchange, transformation and communication not only as objects of study within English Studies but also as characterising the structure, roles and processes of English Studies itself as an international academic field, especially in relation to the meeting between national and institutional traditions and experiences sometimes similar, sometimes very different that a forum such as this conference permits.

Plenary speakers will include Michael Eaton, MBE (playwright and scriptwriter) and Prof. Alastair Pennycook (Distinguished Professor of Language, Society and Education, University of Technology, Sydney). Further speakers to be announced.

Possible focus areas include:

Abstracts for 20-minute papers must be submitted via the NAES2019 website https://events.au.dk/naes2019/about.html by 30 November 2018.

(posted 8 October 2018)

K.N. Panikkar in his article Literature as History of Social Change made the following statement:

Despite the distinction between literature and history, their relationship is characterised by a close interface between the two. History is invariably the subject matter of literature as its universe is humanity, and humanity has no existence without its history. In other words, history is the inspiration and source of literature. The commonly used term historical literature is a misnomer, as there is no literature devoid of history. History intercedes in literature not only when history is invoked, as in the case of Walter Scott or Leo Tolstoy, or, closer home, Brindavan Lal Verma or C.V. Raman Pillai, but it is embedded in all social situations and hence reflected in literary representations.

It seems that the question of the relation between literature and history is still current and widely discussed among academics, scholars and writers throughout the world. Literature undoubtedly shapes our understanding of the past. No one can truly deny the contribution of Charles Dickens to our perception of Victorian Britain, the role of Mark Twains works in building our comprehension of the 19th century American South, or Shakespeares role in reviving the historical figures of Richard III or Henry V. Likewise, nobody denies the significance and salience of Thomas Paines Common Sense in triggering the American War of Independence or the role of John Drydens political poems in shaping the public opinion in the Restoration England. It seems challenging a task to grasp the historical epoch and its consequent events without remembering about its literary representatives and so it is hardly feasible to fully appreciate a work of literature without being familiar with its historical, social or cultural backdrop.

Literature can undeniably serve as a historical source, whereas history can act as a source of inspiration for literary achievements.

The aim of the conference LITERATURE IN HISTORY HISTORY IN LITERATURE is to provide academic forum for established scholars, early career researchers, doctoral students and independent scholars who, in their work, strive to find the interface between literary and historical studies.

The Conference will prioritize the following thematic areas although proposals referring to other related issues are welcome:

Please send paper proposals of approximately 250 words, complete with a short bio note and your academic affiliation to ujkconference@gmail.com.Selected papers will be published in a monograph.

Important dates:New extended deadline for sending proposals: 30 March 2019Notification of acceptance: 5 April 2019Payment of registration fee: 20 April 2019

Registration fee: 350z/ 80 euro, doctoral students: 250z/ 60 euro

Further information on conference website: http://www.ujk.edu.pl/ifo/conference/

(posted 28 December 2018, updated 9 Mach 2019)

Organised by London Centre for Interdisciplinary Research

London, Paris, New York, Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, Beijing, Sydney, Shanghai, Dubai are leading global hubs of finance and commerce, research and development, education and media, art and culture, entertainment and tourism. They consist of an intriguing and yet irresistible mixture of past and present, history and commercialism, monuments and leisure culture. Contrasts and paradoxes present these megacities as exceptional phenomena of artificiality and naturalness, livelihood and unpredictability, whose horizontal and vertical mobility has imposed an unmistakable tempo upon the course of the world and has shaped particular physical and mental geographies.

The conference will explore the singular nature of the symbols that represent the worlds cosmopolitan metropoles. It will also focus on the fascination exerted by these large urban areas and their complex character as unrivalled sites of self-confidence and assertiveness, progress and sophistication.

The main objective of the event is to bring together all those interested in examining the intersections between their professions and/or interests and some distinct aspects of metropolitan life, providing an integrated approach for the understanding of the mechanisms that lie behind the undisputed global centres.

Topics include but are not limited to several core issues:

Paper proposals up to 250 words and a brief biographical note should be sent by1 February, 2018to: urbanstudies@lcir.co.uk.

Please download Paper proposal form.

Registration fee 100 GBP

Provisional conference venue:Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, Bloomsbury, London, WC1E 7HX

(posted 22 October 2018)

Following the conference Metaphor: retrospect and prospects organised in Genoa in May 2016, the research group won a PRIN (Progetto di Ricerca di Interesse Nazionale) award from the Italian government to further our work in the area of Cognitive Metaphor and the intense debate surrounding it, regarding the nature of metaphor, types of metaphor, classification of metaphors, metaphor and psychological theory, modes of research into metaphor, including corpus-based methodologies, concrete applications of metaphor theory to text and multimedial analysis. Just as the theoretical domains are extremely wide-ranging, so are the domains of application, with every area of language having been treated literary, conversation, advertising, politics, classroom, art, medicine, law, economics, the world-wide web and other modes of multimedial communication, to name but a few.

Papers are therefore invited from all disciplines, including literature, linguistics, psychology, sociology, criminology, anthropology, communication studies, medicine, the hard and soft sciences, on any aspect of metaphor theory and its applications. Papers are also welcome which trace the development of metaphor theory and how developments in metaphor theory are related to more general developments in the field of scientific discovery.

Work in progress which is already under way and which is at a stage where progress made can provide valuable insights will also be given due consideration.

The conference languages are English and French. Publication(s) will follow, details of which will be announced at the end of the conference. When submitting their proposal, authors should indicate which of the two conference languages they will be delivering their paper in.

Scholars who have accepted to give a keynote lecture are:Marc BonhommeJonathan Charteris-BlackMonika FludernikRay GibbsZoltan KovecsesGerard SteenRita Temmerman

Submitting proposals:We invite proposals for 20-minute presentations (followed by 10 minutes for discussion). Please note that all the rooms will be equipped with computer, DVD player and overhead projector so you can project all supported documents, spreadsheets, presentations and films. Should you require any special equipment beyond these standard applications, please specify these requirements in your abstract.

Please send an abstract of no more than 400 words to the Conference email address: metaphorgenoa2019@gmail.com

Abstracts should be sent as email attachments in .doc format and should be named Surname_Abstract_Metaphor 2019. They should contain the following structural elements: (a) your full name, academic position, academic affiliation, email address, postal address, (b) a recognisable thesis/statement or research question, (c) an explanation of the methodology, (d) a short reference to emerging results (if applicable), (e) a list of keywords, (f) a short list of key references (max. 5).

The deadline for submission of abstracts is 31st January 2019. Notifications of acceptance will be sent within two weeks of receipt of a proposal.

Detailed information on the conference, travel, accommodation etc. may be found at the conference website at http://www.lcm.unige.it/CALL/?op=cfp

The standard information and an automatic enrolment system will be running ASAP.

The Organising Committee: Michele Prandi, John Douthwaite, Micaela Rossi, Elisabetta Zurru, Ilaria Rizzato

(posted 6 August 2018)

The American Civil War may have ended in 1865, but in many respects it is still being fought today, over 150 years later. Ongoing battles over the Confederate flag and the recent Confederate monument controversy suggest that many of the wounds of the war, especially those related to race, class and gender, are still far from being healed. Clearly, what led to the Civil War is still dividing the nation: Americans are not only grappling with a future vision for the country, but are also struggling with the past. What are considered by some to be markers of cultural heritage are for many others painful symbols of the violent history of the United States, a nation that was built on the exploitation of African Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans and other minority groups. As William Faulkner expresses in his 1951 novel Requiem for a Nun, The past is never dead. Its not even past. It lingers like a ghost over the present and the future, haunting Americans and urging them to come to terms with its countless meanings and manifestations.

If we are what we remember then who are Americans exactly? Is what we remember just as important as how we remember it? American identity is closely invested in commemoration; national holidays, for example, construct a common past in a country of immigrants without a common past. They help make sense out of distant events, reinforce collective values in the present, and theoretically map out a shared future. Yet, those aspects of history that are (or are not) chosen for display in a museum, preservation in an archive, depiction in a work of art, or narration in a work of literature also speak volumes about a nation and its people. They remind us that there are always many competing, and often contradictory, histories, and that the past is truly never dead.

ASAT invites the submission of individual abstracts, panels, and workshop/ roundtable proposals that explore all aspects of this theme. Possible subthemes may include, but are not limited to:

Proposals should be sent to the American Studies Association of Turkey (info@asat-jast.org) and should consist of a 250300 word abstract, five keywords, and a short (200 word) biography for each participant. The time allowance for presentations is 20 minutes. An additional 10 minutes will be provided for discussion.

Submission deadline: December 1, 2018

Selected papers will be included in a special issue of the Journal of American Studies of Turkey (JAST) based on the conference theme.

More information will be posted on our website as it becomes available: http://www.asat-jast.org

(posted 20 April 2018)

Under the auspices of the Research Project Orientation: Towards a Dynamic Understanding of Contemporary Fiction and Culture (1990s-2000s) (ref. FFI2017-86417-P), funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness https://orionfiction.org this conference addresses past, present and future orientations of (neo-) Victorian literature and culture.

Ann Heilmann and Mark Llewellyns acclaimed The Victorians in the Twenty-First Century, 1999-2009 (2010) offered insight into how neo-Victorianism had evolved as a historical sub-genre in the first decade. Now, nearly two decades into the twenty-first century, neo-Victorianism has consolidated into a literary genre and cultural phenomenon that continues to gain both in popularity and critical appraisal, and current trends in neo-Victorianism continue expanding and diversifying. Thus, we perceive that we have reached a point of reflection and, therefore, we wish to explore new paths and intersections of (neo-)Victorianism.

This conference examines (neo-)Victorian diversifications into the twenty-first century exploring the notion of orientation, a dialogical concept itself because it indicates ones position in relation to something or someone. We aim to conceptualise the current interest in dynamic processes, notions of becoming, fluidity and multilayering in the neo-Victorian mode through the lens of orientation. We would like to develop this idea in close relationship to the dynamic interplay between the past and the present, the Victorians and us. This way, this notion bears similarities to the polytemporality of the trace in that it underlines the dynamic interplay and interrelations between past, present, and future as modes of temporal orientation (Victoria Browne). In addition, Sarah Ahmeds concept of orientation, inspired by Maurice Merleau-Pontys philosophy, has explored the spatial quality of the term in relation to queer phenomenology and embodied situatedness. Therefore, we wish to examine orientation as place, habitation and space in different senses in that it directs itself towards the space in between bodies and objects, but also in the sense of the individuals orientation towards the Other. Ultimately, we would like to address the concept orientation from these interrelated perspectives (1) orientation as an apt critical tool to analyse time, as the passage of the trace, polytemporal and dynamic, and (2) orientation as a spatial notion, which serves to address questions of mobility, movement, and the in-between space that exists between bodies and objects, in phenomenological terms, as well as the I-you relationship that emerges in the encounter with the other.

We welcome proposals for 20-minute papers in the following topics (but not limited to) on (neo-) Victorian Orientations: Theoretical approaches and conceptualisations of orientation Passages, processes and the dynamic continuums between the Victorian past and the contemporary period. (Neo-)Victorianism oriented towards the past, the present and the future Time and temporality in neo-Victorian fiction; (multiple) temporality; Polytemporality Future incursions into the nineteenth century Situatedness, embodiment and the senses The Victorians Unbound Spatial orientations: spatial conceptions, dynamic spaces, geographical orientations Neo-Victorianism and the ethical encounter with the other; Orientations towards Otherness and the Other Neo-Victorianism and queer orientations Neo-Victorian orientations and orientalism; cultural cross points Multicultural, cross-cultural and global neo-Victorianism Neo-Victorian literature oriented towards Children and Young Adults New orientations towards the Victorians: digital humanities and (neo-) Victorianism

Confirmed Keynote Speakers: Professor Ann Heilmann (University of Cardiff, UK) Dr. Marie-Luise Kohlke (University of Swansea, UK) Professor Susana Onega (Universidad de Zaragoza, Spain) Professor Patricia Pulham (University of Surrey, UK)

Main Organisers: Professor Rosario Arias and Dr Lin PetterssonPlease send a 250-word abstract to orientationliterature@gmail.com by 30 November 2018 (new extended deadline). Abstracts should include a short biographical note. All submissions will be peer-reviewed.

(posted 11 September 2018, updated 15 October 2018)

The JRAAS team is pleased to announce the third JRAAS Conference New Perspectives, which aims to give students and young researchers the opportunity to present papers on subjects connected to Anglo-American studies. We offer a platform where new ideas can be shared and discussed openly, in order to lay the foundations for an engaged dialogue between the next generation of scholars.

We strongly believe in the value of well-connected interdisciplinary research, employing various methodologies. Young scholars and students wishing to contribute should, therefore, feel free to bring their ideas to the table, from any domain found in present-day Anglo-American Studies.

The III JRAAS Conference New Perspectives will take place at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Porto, Portugal, on the 16th and 17th of May 2019.

Anyone interested might find guidance in the following (not restrictive) list of topics, based on the academic focus of our research center and team:

We invite you to send a 250 words proposal, in form of a word document, to jraascetaps@gmail.com until the 31st of March 2019. The eventual conference contributions are expected to consist of 20-minute presentations preferably in English, although Portuguese may also be considered upon deliberation. A short bio-note should be included (150 words at max.).

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS:

IMPORTANT DATES

REGISTRATION FEES(cover folder, certificate, and coffee breaks)

Early bird registration: until May 3rd, 2019Fee: 10,00Student Fee: 5,00

After May 3rd, 2019Fee: 15,00Student Fee: 10,00

For any queries, please e-mail us at jraascetaps@gmail.com

(posted 11 February 2019, updated 9 March 2019)

Plenary speakers:

Presentations (20 min) and workshops (60 min) are invited in the following sections:

Abstract submission

Please submit 60word abstracts, which will be included in the conference programme:

Deadline:15 February 2019

Conference fee:

Conference website:https://bas.events.uvt.ro

For additional information, please contact:

(posted 16 september 2018)

Organised by London Centre for Interdisciplinary Research

History is written by the victors according to a popular quote. Regardless of the accuracy of this statement, the fact is that history is commonly written by people with authority and bias, thus impeding any attempt to distill one single, objective, definitive truth and record it in immutable books. Moreover, history telling and analysis inevitably comes with different facets, based on context and the historians background. Nevertheless, perspective cannot be regarded as a mere thorn for the discipline, but instead can provide invaluable material to enrich, retrospect and constructively investigate past events, so long as proper mechanisms are in place to guarantee the mitigation of deceitful behaviors.

Recently there has been a rise of distributed systems as a viable means to democratise various aspects of our society. Blockchain has gained attention as the main technology behind Bitcoin and Ethereum, creating their own currency and promising simpler transactions that will replace the status quo financial systems. However, Blockchain potential is not limited to crypto-currencies and creating money out of thin air in an attempt to become rich overnight. Blockchain is the technology that maysignificantly benefit our lives in the near future by decentralizing governance, allowing peers to directly interact in a reliable and secure manner and empowering communities with the privilege and responsibility of defining their operation and evolution.

Adopting Blockchain technologies appeals as a very promising direction towards the democratisation of History. As the name implies, Blockchain is a chain of blocks, each registered at some point in time, which is in line with Historys linearity in terms of timeliness of events. What is written in each block, is a product of interactions among peers of the blockchain, who can all have access to the system, in a deterministic manner based on agreed predefined processes. How can History writing be mapped into a conversational process with the conclusions, as well as the reviews, discussions and links to facts, being printed on blocks of the Blockchain? How can access of all users to History reading and writing benefit the panoramicity and cultural inclusiveness into preserving our heritage? To which extent can a single reference system foster historical knowledge and awareness, while unleashing freedom of speech in event reporting and shedding light into the patterns of historical events?

We invite proposals from various disciplines including history, political sciences, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, IT, media and communication, literature, linguistics, etc.

Paper proposals up to 250 words and a brief biographical note should be sent by 1 February, 2019to: digital.humanities@lcir.co.uk. Please download Paper Proposal Form.

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Calls for papers Conferences taking place in May 2019

Elon Musk: $47,000 Model Y SUV “Will Ride Like a Sports Car”

A Familiar Car

First, it was supposed to feature Model-X-style “falcon wing” doors, and then it didn’t. It was supposed to be built in the Shanghai factory, but that didn’t work out either.

Tesla finally unveiled its fifth production car, the Model Y, at its design studio outside of Los Angeles Thursday evening.

“It has the functionality of an SUV, but it will ride like a sports car,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk said during the event. “So this thing will be really tight on corners.”

Bigger than the 3, Smaller Than the X

Yes, acceleration is still zippy: zero to 60 in 3.5 seconds.

But the vehicle is less than revolutionary. It’s arguably the company’s second crossover sports utility vehicle, after the Model X, and it borrows heavily from the company’s successful Model 3. In fact, 75 percent of its parts are the same, according to CEO Elon Musk.

The back of the Y is slightly elevated in the back for a roomier cargo space. A long-range model will feature seven seats — just like the Model X, despite being slightly smaller. Range: still 300 miles with the Long Range battery pack, thanks to its aerodynamic shape.

It will also be “feature complete” according to Musk, referring to the fact that the Model Y will one day be capable of “full self-driving” that he says “will be able to do basically anything just with software upgrades.”

10 Percent Cheaper

As expected, the Model Y is ten percent bigger and costs roughly ten percent more than the Model 3: the first Model Y — the Long Range model — will be released in the fall of 2020 and will sell for $47,000. A dual-motor all-wheel drive version and a performance version will sell for $51,000 and $60,000, respectively.

If you want to save a buck and get the ten-percent-cheaper-than-the-Model-3 version, you’ll have to wait: a Standard Range (230 miles) model will go on sale in 2021 for just $39,000.

Overall, the Model Y seems like a compromise: it’s not a radical shift, but it seems carefully designed to land with a certain type of consumer — and, if Musk is to be believed, without sacrificing Tesla’s carefully-cultivated “cool factor.”

Investors seemed slightly underwhelmed, too — the company’s stock reportedly slid up to five percent after the announcement.

READ MORE:  Tesla unveils Model Y electric SUV with 300 miles range and 7-seats [Electrek]

More on the Model Y: Elon Musk: Tesla Will Unveil Model Y Next Week

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Elon Musk: $47,000 Model Y SUV “Will Ride Like a Sports Car”

Just 19 Percent of Americans Trust Self-Driving Cars With Kids

A new survey by AAA shows that most Americans distrust self-driving cars. In the past two years, public trust in the emerging technology has gone down.

Poor Turnout

While tech companies like Waymo, Uber, and Tesla race to be the first to build a fully-autonomous vehicle, the public is left eating their dust.

About 71 percent of Americans say that they don’t trust self-driving cars, according to a new American Automobile Association (AAA) survey. That’s roughly the same percentage as last year’s survey, but it’s eight points higher than in 2017, according to Bloomberg and just 19 percent say they’d put their children or family members into an autonomous vehicle.

Overall, the data is a striking sign of public fatigue with self-driving cars.

Track Record

Autonomous vehicles, unlike some other emerging technologies, have suffered very public setbacks, including when an Uber vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian a year ago.

“It’s possible that the sustained level of fear is rooted in a heightened focus, whether good or bad, on incidents involving these types of vehicles,” said AAA director of automotive engineering Greg Brannon in a statement obtained by Bloomberg. “Also it could simply be due to a fear of the unknown.”

Uphill Battle

The AAA survey found that Americans are more accepting of autonomous vehicle tech in limited-use cases. For example, 53 percent of survey respondents were okay with self-driving trams or shuttles being used in areas like theme parks, while 44 percent accepted the idea of autonomous food-delivery bots.

Self-driving car companies are currently engaging in public relations efforts to earn people’s trust, Bloomberg reports. But if these AAA numbers are any indication, there’s a long way to go.

READ MORE: Americans Still Fear Self-Driving Cars [Bloomberg]

More on autonomous vehicles: Exclusive: A Waymo One Rider’s Experiences Highlight Autonomous Rideshare’s Shortcomings

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Just 19 Percent of Americans Trust Self-Driving Cars With Kids

This Guy Spent a Whole Week In a VR Headset

Jak Wilmot, co-founder of Disrupt VR, an Atlanta-based VR content studio, spent 168 consecutive hours in a VR headset, locked up in his apartment.

The Dumbest Thing

Jak Wilmot, the co-founder of Atlanta-based VR content studioDisrupt VR, spent 168 consecutive hours in a VR headset — that’s a full week — pent up in his apartment.

“This is quite possibly the dumbest thing I’ve ever done, but welcome to a week in the future,” he said in a video about the experiment.

To make the experience even more futuristic, Wilmot livestreamed the entire week on Twitch late last month, later uploading a wrapup video on his entire week on YouTube.

The rules were simple: he could switch from a computer-based Oculus headset to a different, untethered headset for thirty seconds while his eyes were closed. His windows were blacked out, he said, so that his physical body didn’t have to rely on the daylight-dependent circadian rhythm.

His more mobile VR headset had a built in camera in the front, so that he was able to “see” his physical surroundings — but not directly with his own eyes.

“Everything is in the Headset”

Wilmot worked, ate and exercised inside virtual reality. Sleeping in the headset turned out to be “more comfortable” than Wilmot anticipated, though his eyes burned a bit.

“If one is feeling stressed, they can load into a natural environment for ten minutes and relax,” he said in the video. “If one is feeling energetic, they can dispel energy in a fitness game — these are like the new rules of the reality I’ve thrown myself in. Everything is in the headset.”

VR Connection

Wilmot believes that virtual reality is what you make it. If you want to be alone, you can spend time by yourself in a gaming session, slaying dragons in Skyrim VR. Or you can chose to join the cacophony of VRChat — a communal free-for-all multiplayer online platform that allows you to interact with avatars controlled by complete strangers.

“VR is stepping into the shoes of someone else, or stepping into a spaceship and talking to friends,” said Wilmot. “It’s very easy to find your tribe, to make friends, to communicate with others through a virtual landscape, where its no longer through digital window [like a monitor], but actually being there with them. To me that’s what VR is — connection.”

Escaping Virtual Reality

After seven days of living inside the headset, Wilmot took off the goggles and relearned what it’s like to live in the real world.

Experiment_01… ????????

Subject Status… ????? pic.twitter.com/HC0Jqb3aZq

— jak (@JakWilmot) February 27, 2019

Apart from slight dizziness and some disorientation, he came back to normal almost instantly.

One major advantage to not living inside a VR headset: “oh my gosh,” he said, “the graphics are so good.”

READ MORE: This Guy Is Spending A Full Week In VR, For Science [VR Scout]

More on virtual reality: Sex Researchers: For Many, Virtual Lovers Will Replace Humans

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This Guy Spent a Whole Week In a VR Headset

How Can We Build Cities to Accommodate 6.5 Billion People?

By 2050, 6.5 billion people will choose to live in cities. These individuals will require employment and access to better healthcare from an infrastructure that is already extremely vulnerable. The Global Maker Challenge asked makers and innovators to help put forward solutions for this issue, and they delivered.

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How Can We Build Cities to Accommodate 6.5 Billion People?

Samsung Is Working on Phone With “Invisible” Camera Behind Screen

A Samsung exec has shared new details on the company's efforts to create a full-screen phone, one with the camera embedded beneath the display.

Punch It

Just last month, South Korean tech giant Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S10, a phone with just a single hole punched in the screen to accommodate its front-facing camera.

On Thursday, a Samsung exec shared new details on the company’s intentions to create a “perfect full-screen” phone, with an “invisible” camera behind the screen to eliminate the need for any visible holes or sensors — confirming that one of the biggest players in tech sees edge-to-edge screens as the future of mobile devices.

Hidden Tech

During a press briefing covered by Yonhap News Agency, Samsung’s Mobile Communication R&D Group Display Vice President Yang Byung-duk said the company’s goal is to create a phone with a screen that covers the entire front of the device — but consumers shouldn’t expect it in the immediate future.

“Though it wouldn’t be possible to make (a full-screen smartphone) in the next 1-2 years,” Yang said, “the technology can move forward to the point where the camera hole will be invisible, while not affecting the camera’s function in any way.”

Quest for Perfection

This isn’t Samsung’s first mention of an uninterrupted full-screen phone — as pointed out by The Verge, the company discussed its ambitions to put the front-facing camera under a future device’s screen during a presentation in October.

That presentation included a few additional details on how the camera in a full-screen phone would work.

Essentially, the entire screen would serve as a display whenever the front-facing camera wasn’t in use. When in use, however, the screen would become transparent, allowing the camera to see through so you could snap the perfect selfie — and based on Yang’s comments, that new innovation could be just a few years away.

READ MORE: Samsung Seeks Shift to Full Screen in New Smartphones [Yonhap News Agency]

More on Samsung: Samsung Just Revealed a $1,980 Folding Smartphone

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Samsung Is Working on Phone With “Invisible” Camera Behind Screen

Special Announcement: Futurism Media and Singularity University

Futurism acquired by Singularity University

So, Readers –

As always, we’ve got some news about the future. Except this time, it’s about us.

We’re about to enter the next chapter of Futurism, one that will usher in a new era for this site. It’ll come with new ways we’ll be able to deliver on everything you’ve grown to read, watch, subscribe to, and love about what we do here. And also, more in volume of what we do, with larger ambitions, and ultimately, a higher level of quality with which we’re able to bring those ambitions to fruition.

As of today, Futurism Media is proud to announce that we’re joining operations with Singularity University. In other words: They bought us, they own us, and quite frankly, we’re excited about the deal.

It’s an excitement and an occasion we share in with you, our community of readers — aspiring and working technologists, scientists, engineers, academics, and fans, who carried us to where we are, who helped make this independent media company what it is today. We’ve always been humbled by your support, and we’ve worked to reciprocate it by publishing one of the most crucial independent technology and science digital digests, every day, full stop.

What this changes for you? Nothing. Really. Except: More of what you’ve come to count on Futurism.com to deliver every time you’ve read our stories, opened our emails, swiped up on our ‘Gram, watched our videos, dropped in on our events, clicked through a Byte, and so on. This partnership represents the sum total of the work you’ve engaged with, and the start of a new chapter in which we’ll be able to deliver on more of the above.

That means increased coverage of the emergent, cutting-edge innovation and scientific developments changing the world, and the key characters and narratives shaping them (or being shaped by them). It means an expanded, in-depth feature publishing program, arriving this Spring (it’s rad, and it’s gonna blow your socks off). It means more breaking news reporting and analysis. It means original media products you haven’t seen from us before — new verticals, microsites, other ways for you to get in the mix with our coverage. And yes, by working in concert with Singularity University, we’re going to have a pretty decent competitive advantage: Direct access to the characters and personas shaping our future, the people, ideas, and innovations right at the frontier of exponential growth technologies. Our branded content team, Futurism Creative, will also continue to produce guideline-abiding, cutting-edge, thoughtful and engaging content for our partners, and for the partners of SU, too. And finally, our Futurism Studios division will continue to push the envelope of feature-length narrative storytelling of the science fiction (and science fact) stories of that future.

Will this change our journalism? Not in the slightest. We’ll still be operating as an independent, objective news outlet, without interference from our partners, who will continue to hold us to the same ethics and accountability standards we’ve held ourselves to these last few years. There might be more appearances from the folks at SU in our work (not that SU’s proliferate network of notable alumni or board members haven’t previously made appearances around these parts prior to this), but by no means will SU be shoehorning themselves into what we do here.

Yet: Where the opportunity exists, we’ll absolutely seize on the chance to co-create and catalyze action together to shape the technology and science stories on the horizon, to say nothing of that future itself. We’ll continue to make quality the primary concern — and they’re here to support that mandate, and augment this team with additional resources to accomplish it. If even the appearance of a conflict presents itself, as always, we’ll default to disclosure. But it’d be absurd of us not to take advantage of the immense base of knowledge our new partners in Mountain View have on offer (an apt comparison here would be, say, Harvard Business Review to H.B.S. or M.I.T. and our contemporaries at the MIT Technology Review).

We’ve been circling this partnership for a while; they, fans of ours, and us, fans of theirs. The original mandate of Futurism as written by our C.E.O. Alex Klokus was to increase the rate of human adaptability towards the future through delivering on the news of where that future is headed. Singularity University concerns itself with educating the world on the exponential growth technologies changing our lives. It’s a perfect merging of interests. Where exponential growth technologies are concerned: One only need look as far as the way online advertising and social platforms changed the economics of media to see this. To find a home with a growing institution that will prove increasingly vital to the growing global community they’ve already established in spades is the best possible outcome. And no, we didn’t get crazy-rich or anything. But we did galvanize the future (and all its possibilities) for everyone at this company, and our ability to keep serving you, our readers.

We’re immensely proud of the scrappy, tight team here; and especially you, our community of readers and partners we’ve grown with these last few years. We’re proud of the product we’ve created, especially last year, when we steered away from reliance on social media platforms for an audience, and reconfigured an editorial strategy around the priority of driving you directly to Futurism.com daily, by prioritizing quality, topicality, reliability, and on-site presentation (shocker: it worked). Now, we proud to be able to do more, better, of what we’ve always done here:

Tell the stories of tomorrow, today. On behalf of the entire Brooklyn-based Futurism team, thanks for being along for the ride so far, and on behalf of the new Futurism x Singularity University family, here’s to more of where that came from.

The future, as ever, is looking bright. We can’t wait to tell you about it.

– Foster Kamer
Director of Content

James Del
Publisher

Sarah Marquart
Director of Strategic Operations

Geoff Clark
President of Futurism Studios

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Special Announcement: Futurism Media and Singularity University

Slack Just Removed a Bunch of Hate Groups

Workplace messaging app Slack just announced that it banned 28 accounts that were known to be affiliated with hate groups.

Violating Terms

Slack, the team collaboration app commonly used to connect people within workplaces, announced Thursday that it had deleted 28 accounts that were clearly affiliated with hate groups, according to the company’s blog.

The announcement, sparse on concrete details or specifics, states that hate groups are explicitly unwelcome on the app and that Slack will continue to investigate and act on any future reports of hate speech or illegal activity.

“Today we removed 28 accounts because of their clear affiliation with known hate groups,” the statement reads. “The use of Slack by hate groups runs counter to everything we believe in at Slack and is not welcome on our platform.”

Joining the Fight

In recent years, major platforms like Facebook and Twitter have struggled to keep white supremacists and other hate groups from spreading their messages across the internet, though both ban Nazi messaging in Germany, where Holocaust denial is illegal.

Smaller scale platforms like Discord also recently started acting against hate groups, according to The Verge, which speculates that Slack’s focus on business communications instead of cultivating largescale communities may have helped the company avoid the issue of online hatemongering.

Real World Consequences

When hate speech is allowed to propagate online, it can lead to real-world violence — like the murder of Heather Heyer at a 2017 white supremacist rally. But banning hate groups and de-platforming the people behind them, as Slack claims to have done, is a successful strategy.

When right-wing activist Milo Yiannopolous was no longer permitted by online platforms to spread his racist and misogynistic viewpoints, he found himself effectively powerless and millions of dollars in debt, according to The Guardian.

“Using Slack to encourage or incite hatred and violence against groups or individuals because of who they are is antithetical to our values and the very purpose of Slack,” the company’s statement reads. “When we are made aware of an organization using Slack for illegal, harmful, or other prohibited purposes, we will investigate and take appropriate action and we are updating our terms of service to make that more explicit.”

READ MORE: Slack says it removed dozens of accounts affiliated with hate groups [The Verge]

More on content moderation: The UK Government Is Planning to Regulate Hate Speech Online

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Slack Just Removed a Bunch of Hate Groups

Presidential Hopeful Beto O’Rourke Belonged to Infamous Hacker Group

2020 Presidential hopeful Beto O'Rourke was reportedly part of the hacktivist group known as the Cult of the Dead Cow during his teenage years.

Political Hack

Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke just admitted to spending his teenage years as part of the Cult of the Dead Cow (CDC), a group of hackers that first coined the term “hacktivism.”

O’Rourke, who failed to unseat Senator Ted Cruz in the 2018 midterm election and recently decided to run for president instead of challenging Senator John Cornyn in 2020, told Reuters that he credits the hacker group for helping develop his worldview — an intriguing admission for an unusual candidate who skateboards and used to play in a punk band.

Hacker-Lite

According to Reuters, there’s no evidence that O’Rourke actually engaged in any sort of serious hacking, though he did cop to stealing the long-distance phone service necessary for reaching the online message boards of the day.

Rather, O’Rourke seemed to spend his time in the Cult of the Dead Cow writing and sharing fiction with the community, such as a short story he wrote at age 15 about running over children in a car, Reuters reports.

“We weren’t deliberately looking for hacking chops,” CDC founder Kevin Wheeler told Reuters, describing the group’s attitude during the period of time O’Rourke was most active. “It was very much about personality and writing, really. For a long time, the ‘test,’ or evaluation, was to write [text files]. Everyone was expected to write things. If we were stoked to have more hacker-oriented people, it was because we’d be excited to have a broader range in our t-files.”

Formative Years

“There’s just this profound value in being able to be apart from the system and look at it critically and have fun while you’re doing it,” O’Rourke said. “I think of the Cult of the Dead Cow as a great example of that.”

The presidential hopeful, who espouses a mix of traditional liberal and libertarian views, describes the group as a sort of network for outcasts from society.

“When Dad bought an Apple IIe and a 300-baud modem and I started to get on boards, it was the Facebook of its day,” he said. “You just wanted to be part of a community.”

READ MORE: Beto O’Rourke’s secret membership in America’s oldest hacking group [Reuters]

More on hacktivism: It’s Now Scary to Be A White Hat Hacker Thanks to the US Government

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Presidential Hopeful Beto O’Rourke Belonged to Infamous Hacker Group

Elon Musk: 2019 Will Be “the Year of the Solar Roof”

During the unveiling of Tesla's highly anticipated Model Y, CEO Elon Musk announced that the company would focus on its Solar Roof and Powerwall in 2019.

Looking Up

During the unveiling of Tesla’s highly anticipated Model Y Thursday night, CEO Elon Musk shared his vision for his company’s immediate future — and it had little to do with cars.

“This is definitely going to be the year of the Solar Roof and Powerwall,” he told the audience, according to Inverse — a sign that Tesla is shifting its focus from the road to the home, with the ultimate goal of creating a fully sustainable future.

Pretty Picture

In August 2017, Tesla gave the world its first glimpse of an installed Solar Roof, and it looked, well, a lot like any other roof. But that was the point — Tesla’s solar tiles didn’t have the jarring appearance of many home solar panels.

That aesthetically pleasing design — combined with the tiles’ affordability and “infinity warranty” — had solar energy expert Senthil Balasubramanian predicting Tesla would be a “game changer” for clean energy.

With the exception of the occasional massive battery project, though, we haven’t heard much about Tesla’s home energy products since then. The company spent much of 2017 and 2018 focused on getting through the Model 3’s “production hell” and dealing with the fallout from Musk’s latest public misstep.

Under One Roof

But now that Model 3 production is humming along, Tesla has the bandwidth to shift some of its engineering focus back to its Solar Roof and home batteries, according to Musk — and that should go a long way toward helping the company meet its ambitious goal of a more sustainable energy system.

“Solar plus battery plus electric vehicles, we have a fully sustainable future,” Musk told the audience Thursday. “That’s a future you can feel really excited and optimistic about. I think that really matters.”

READ MORE: Tesla Solar Roof: Elon Musk Declares 2019 Will Be the Year of the Roof [Inverse]

More on Tesla: Solar Expert Predicts Tesla Will Be a “Game-Changer” for Clean Energy

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Elon Musk: 2019 Will Be “the Year of the Solar Roof”

States Are Approving Cannabis to Fight Opioid Addiction

Risky Maneuver

So far, two U.S. states, New York and Illinois, have legalized the use of cannabis to help treat chronic pain as an alternative to addictive opioids.

Ask anyone on the street, and they would probably tell you that cannabis helps people chill out. The chemical similarities between cannabis and opioids make it seem, anecdotally, like cannabis could help reduce opioid addiction. Both drugs mitigate similar symptoms and usher in similar experiences – but cannabis is far less dangerous on its own.

But anecdotal evidence only goes so far.

Mixed Bag

While it’s hard to criticize something that could help alleviate the opioid epidemic, the physiological impact of treating either chronic pain or opioid addiction with cannabis hasn’t undergone nearly the same rigor of scientific study as other medical treatments, according to Scientific American.

Overall, scientists have faced many challenges when it comes to experimenting with cannabis. Though Scientific American reports that some clinical research is finally starting to support it, overall, there’s just not a lot of evidence backing up that anecdotal hunch.

But because other opioid addiction treatments like methadone already work, and because cutting people off of them can be dangerous, scientists argued that switching people already taking prescription opioids over to a prescription of cannabis could actually be dangerous in a perspective letter recently published to the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Pain Factor

The big question is whether cannabis will not only be able to help people already addicted to opioids, but also the chronic pain that the opioids may have been for in the first place.

In this case, research is once more limited. Plenty of studies suggest that cannabis treats pain, but a research paper published in European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience earlier this year found that most cannabis pain studies had severe limitations, calling their findings into question.

Legalizing marijuana could help people find all sorts of new treatments. And while exploring new tools to help treat people affected by the opioid epidemic is commendable, cannabis likely won’t end up being the answer.

READ MORE: Can Cannabis Solve the Opioid Crisis? [Scientific American]

More on cannabis: New Senate Bill Would Legalize Marijuana Nationwide

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States Are Approving Cannabis to Fight Opioid Addiction

This Tech Could Secure Medical Implants Against Hackers

Many of today's medical implants communicate via Bluetooth, which makes them vulnerable to hacking, but a new system could change that.

Heart Hack

An implanted medical device can dramatically improve a person’s quality of life — or even save their life outright.

However, the devices come with serious security vulnerabilities, and it’s not hard to imagine the damage a person could do by hacking someone’s pacemaker, insulin pump, or brain implant.

Now, researchers from Purdue University have found a way to prevent hackers from intercepting the wireless signals used to communicate with implanted devices — and their creation could ensure the “internet of body” remains secure in the future.

Watch This

Many people monitor their implants via electronic devices, such as smart watches or smartphones, with the implants and devices communicating over Bluetooth.

Those wireless signals can extend as far as 10 meters away from a person’s body, according to the Purdue researchers – meaning someone in the vicinity of the implant owner could intercept the information — and perhaps manipulate it.

In a new paper published in the journal Scientific Reports, the researchers detail how they created a prototype watch that avoids this issue.

Short Leash

According to the researchers, their watch can receive a signal from anywhere on a person’s body, but instead of communicating over Bluetooth, the electrical signals travel through the person’s own body fluids to reach the watch, never extending more than one centimeter beyond the person’s skin.

As a bonus, the system also requires 100 times less energy than Bluetooth, according to the researchers — but its ability to protect incredibly sensitive communications could be reason enough for the technology to replace Bluetooth for implant applications in the future.

READ MORE: Your body is your internet – and now it can’t be hacked [Purdue University]

More on implants: New Brain Implant Could Translate Paralyzed People’s Thoughts Into Speech

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This Tech Could Secure Medical Implants Against Hackers

Here’s How Hackers Stole $15 Million From Mexican Banks

In April, bank hackers stole the equivalent of $20 million from Mexico's central bank thanks to a network rife with security flaws.

Ocean’s Once

In April 2018, hackers stole the equivalent of $15 million from Mexican banks — and now we know how they probably did it.

Penetration tester and security advisor Josu Loza was one of the experts called in to respond to the April heist, and on March 8 he presented his findings at the RSA Security conference in San Francisco.

Based on his analysis, Mexico’s central bank wasn’t doing nearly enough to protect its clients’ money — but other financial institutions could avoid the same fate if they’re willing to work together.

Easy Money

On Friday, Wired published a story detailing the information Loza shared with the audience at RSA’s conference. Based on his assessment, the success of the heist was due to a combination of expert bank hackers willing to spend months planning their crime and a banking network rife with security holes.

During the presentation, Loza made the case that the hackers might have accessed the Banco de México’s internal servers from the public internet, or perhaps launched phishing attacks on bank executives or employees to gain access.

Regardless of how they first got access, Loza said, the main problem was putting too many eggs in one security basket. Because many of the networks lacked adequate segmentation and access controls, he argued, a single breach could provide the bank hackers with extensive access.

That enabled them to lay the groundwork to eventually make numerous money transfers in smaller amounts, perhaps $5,000 or so, to accounts under their control. They’d then pay hundreds of “cash mules” each a small sum — Loza estimated that $260 might be enough — to withdraw the money for them.

Cyber Insecurity

The bank hackers are still at large, but the heist appears to have served as a wake-up call for the Banco de México.

“From last year to today the focus has been implementing controls. Control, control, control,” Lazo said during his presentation, according to Wired. “And I think the attacks aren’t happening today because of it.”

He also noted the need for companies to collaborate to defend against cyberattacks.

“Mexican people need to start to work together. All the institutions need to cooperate more,” Loza said. “The main problem on cybersecurity is that we don’t share knowledge and information or talk about attacks enough. People don’t want to make details about incidents public.”

READ MORE: HOW HACKERS PULLED OFF A $20 MILLION MEXICAN BANK HEIST [Wired]

More on hacking: Hacker Figures out How to Drain $1 Million in Cash From ATM

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Here’s How Hackers Stole $15 Million From Mexican Banks

New Rocket Engine Could Whip You From London to Sydney in 4 Hours

The makers of a new hypersonic rocket engine say it could whip flights from London to Sydney in just four hours, traveling at five times the speed of sound.

Rocket Plane

The makers of a new hypersonic rocket engine say it could whisk flights from London to Sydney in just four hours, traveling at five times the speed of sound. That’s a flight that can take 20 hours on a conventional jetliner.

According to the BBCUK company Reaction Engines says it’s gearing up to test the futuristic craft in Colorado — a startling vision of the future of transportation that could also, if the engine lives up to the hype, inform the future of spaceflight.

Screaming Fist

Reaction Engines, which has backing from the Rolls-Royce and Boeing, calls the new rocket engine the Sabre. It inhales air at lower altitudes, but works more like a rocket when it gets higher up.

“The core can be tested on the ground, but it’s the core that gets you air-breathing from the ground up to the edge of space, at which point there is no more oxygen to breathe and the system transitions to the pure rocket mode,” said Shaun Driscoll, Reaction Engines’ program director, according to the BBC.

Orbiter

The company also says the Sabre engine could push the frontiers of spaceflight, by sending crafts straight into orbit without multiple propellant stages, according to the BBC, which also reported that the the European Space Agency recently signed off on a design review for the Sabre engine.

“The positive conclusion of our Preliminary Design Review marks a major milestone in Sabre development,” ESA’s head of propulsion engineering Mark Ford told the broadcaster. “It confirms the test version of this revolutionary new class of engine is ready for implementation.”

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New Rocket Engine Could Whip You From London to Sydney in 4 Hours

NASA: Space Travel Is Causing Astronauts’ Herpes to Flare Up

Tests show that dormant herpes viruses reactivate in more than half the astronauts who travel on the Space Shuttle and International Space station.

Dormant Viruses

Tests show that dormant herpes viruses reactivate in more than half the astronauts who travel on the Space Shuttle and International Space station, according to new NASA research — a phenomenon the space agency says could pose problems for deep space missions.

“During spaceflight there is a rise in secretion of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, which are known to suppress the immune system, ” said study author Satish Mehta, a researcher at Johnson Space Center, in a press release. “In keeping with this, we find that astronaut’s immune cells — particularly those that normally suppress and eliminate viruses — become less effective during spaceflight and sometimes for up to 60 days after.”

Less Effective

In research published last month in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology, Mehta and colleagues found that astronauts shed more herpes viruses in their urine and saliva than before or after space travel. The culprit, they suspect, is just the stress of spaceflight.

“NASA astronauts endure weeks or even months exposed to microgravity and cosmic radiation — not to mention the extreme G forces of take-off and re-entry,” Mehta said in the press release. “This physical challenge is compounded by more familiar stressors like social separation, confinement and an altered sleep-wake cycle.”

Minor Symptoms

Fortunately, symptoms were relatively rare. Out of 89 astronauts the team studied, only six experienced herpes breakouts in space, according to the paper — a rate of about seven percent.

The viral shedding also got worse the longer the astronauts were off Earth, leading researchers to worry the phenomenon could represent a challenge for deep space travel.

“While only a small proportion develop symptoms, virus reactivation rates increase with spaceflight duration and could present a significant health risk on missions to Mars and beyond,” reads the press release.

READ MORE: Dormant viruses activate during spaceflight [Phys.org]

More on herpes: Immune Cells Working Together To Kill Herpes Virus Captured on Video

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NASA: Space Travel Is Causing Astronauts’ Herpes to Flare Up


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